but i really wish people in fandom would be more honest.
‘i hate this pairing because it deviates from my head canon that my OTP are in love.’
‘i hate this female character because, like all women in patriarchal societies, i struggle with internalised misogyny and it’s easier for me to hate her than to accept this canonical pairing that’s different from my OTP’ (and/or ‘because i’ve been raised to believe this female character exhibits traits that are bad in women but good in men’).
‘i want to write a fic about the break up of a canonical pairing that demonises the female character because i want the male character to remain the Good Guy so the other character in my OTP can justifiably be in love with him. this story makes me feel good. it comforts me.’
see also: liking problematic things does not make you a bad person.
‘I want to read fic where a male character is feminized, infantilized, and treated like a cherished possession, because I struggle every single day to make my way in the world as a woman and an adult, and it’s hard, and it’s tiring. And I want to do it. And I will do it. But there’s still that part of me, uneradicated, that has internalized a tiny seed of a misguided idea that it would be easier, better - less of a struggle - for a woman to stay home barefoot and pregnant, while someone takes care of her. I don’t want this for myself. I know that nothing about that, in real life, is easy. I’m uncomfortable enough with it that I have to displace the actual explicit gender out of it in order to read it. But this is what I want to read.’
I would just like to say that ever since I started phrasing things in this way, it’s helped me enormously to get the fuck over what other people thought of me and my writing — and what I thought of my writing and my kinks.
Here’s one: “I want to read fic that centers on unequal relationships, including BDSM and dubious/non consent stories. But Bad Shit has happened to me in real life before, so I’m more comfortable reading and writing about a same-sex couple. That way I don’t have to worry about societal inequalities, or feel like my gender is under attack like I do when even glancing at 50 Shades and its ilk.”
another excellent one.
I tried to articulate one of these for myself but when I realised what I’d written I deleted it, and now I’m kind of crying. This is pretty powerful stuff.
I’ll never again let someone shame me for the fics I read/write. Fic is catharsis. Mine, not yours.
I have several of these. Good to see people spelling through them clearly. It helps do the math on “this is my stuff” and “this is how my stuff bounces off other stuff.”
It does not excuse me from taking responsibility if I write stuff that craps on other identities, but it sure as heck helps me sort out, if I was veering that direction, what the *important* part was for me emotionally so I can handle it another way.
"I write Loki in an incredibly sympathetic way because I was rejected and injured emotionally by someone I love(d) very much, who I always did my best for but that wasn’t enough in ways I can’t comprehend, and I’m trying desperately to be the better, more noble person and put myself in his place to understand why he did what he did."
It’s an interesting exercise, but it can be very hard to tease out what the truth really is when it is so tied up in harmful things like internalized misogyny and gender stereotypes that are so hard to see without a little perspective. I’m pretty sure I only know the above because I’ve mostly moved on to other characters. Let’s see:
"I spend so much time in Bruce Banner’s head because he’s similar to me but even more troubled, and still a hero, which is reassuring. Most interesting female characters are more well-balanced (Jane Foster, Jemma Simmons), mysterious to the point of inscrutable (Natasha Romanoff, Melinda May), or their troubled hearts end up leading them down the more villainous path (Maya Hansen, Camilla Reyes). I honestly believe that were Bruce Banner exactly the same but female, and/or of color, I would be just as interested. But I don’t race- or genderbend much in fic because I am lazy."
I think that’s enough honesty for one day. I’m busy going through my original novels and making it more clear what race everyone is. The ladies of Chinese and Egyptian descent in the current top two main character slots of the one novel need more descriptors.
I think one of the reasons the Harry Potter Epilogue was so poorly received was because the audience was primarily made up of the Millennial generation.
We’ve walked with Harry, Ron and Hermione, through a world that we thought was great but slowly revealed itself to be the opposite. We unpeeled the layers of corruption within the government, we saw cruelty against minorities grow in the past decades, and had media attack us and had teachers tell us that we ‘must not tell lies’. We got angry and frustrated and, like Harry, Ron and Hermione, had to think of a way to fight back. And them winning? That would have been enough to give us hope and leave us satisfied.
But instead. There was skip scene. And suddenly they were all over 30 and happy with their 2.5 children.
And the Millennials were left flailing in the dust.
Because while we recognised and empathised with everything up to that point. But seeing the Golden Trio financially stable and content and married? That was not something our generation could recognise. Because we have no idea if we’re ever going to be able to reach that stage. Not with the world we’re living in right now.
Having Harry, Ron and Hermione stare off into the distance after the battle and wonder about what the future might be would have stuck with us. Hell, have them move into a shitty flat together and try and sort out their lives would have. Have them with screaming nightmares and failed relationships and trying to get jobs in a society that’s falling apart would have. Have them still trying to fix things in that society would have. Because we known Voldemort was just a symptom of the disease of prejudice the Wizarding World.
But don’t push us off with an ‘all was well’. In a world about magic, JK Rowling finally broke our suspension of disbelief by having them all hit middle-class and middle-age contentment and expecting a fanbase of teenagers to accept it.
Also. Since when was ‘don’t worry kids, you’re going to turn out just like your parents’ ever a happy ending? Does our generation even recognise marriage and money and jobs as the fulfillment of life anymore? Does our generation even recognise the Epilogue’s Golden Trio anymore?
My head MAY have exploded super-hard, when I heard that people were actually calling Peggy “anachronistic”. Like, I am a MASSIVE fan of the ladies of the SOE, OSS, Bletchley, etc. during WWII. There was proper rage blackout. Seriously. Not to mention the WAVES, WAAFs, WACs, and just about every other group women served in during the war. MY HED. SO EXPLODEY.
My granny who was one of the girls at the listening stations that took down the morse code and signals that got passed on to the codebreakers would like to have words with these people.
apparently not a lot of people know about this, so i’m gonna try to get the word out. for the past couple months, public school teachers here in british columbia have been on a strike against the government. they wanted smaller class sizes and more help for special needs kids and things such as…
So there are tons of musical callbacks in the MCU - I remember noticing the Tesseract had its own theme across movies, and lots of other continuity with characters and stuff.
The Incredible Hulk, I didn’t expect to get tied into that, because the score was one of my least favorite parts of that film. The score was plodding and melancholy and unchanging in its tone.
Watching The Winter Soldier for the second time ever today, I heard some of the same themes, and let me tell you, putting a good beat behind them and alternating them with the dynamic brass-heavy Cap themes makes them almost infinitely better.
It’s a really interesting choice, because it brings out all these similar storytelling themes between the two movies - a sense of isolation that dogs a man who thought he knew his place in the world but keeps being proven wrong, a sense of despair that the military he was working for has turned against him, and that good men are being brought down by a force they should never have been made to fight, that would not exist if the man had done his job right in the first place.
…Putting flash drives places where food should go in order to retrieve them later.
Anyway a lot of sneaking around in baseball caps on data scavenger hunts and despairing. Showing up on the doorsteps of acquaintances with nowhere else to go. And pining after a woman who spent too long waiting for him and now it’s too late.
There are no actual characters in common, so I will call it the Somber Serum theme.
Psychosomatic, his therapist had murmured, tut-tutting as they wrote down the diagnoses on their clipboard. It’s all about how you think, Bruce. You have to allow yourself to speak.
Bruce had always thought his childhood therapist had been a bit of a crack-job, mostly because he didn’t understand what psychosomatic really meant. The idea that he didn’t really have a stutter, that the abuse he went through as a child is what perpetuated it, was absolutely absurd. He’d thought he was over that—Suppressing emotions is not the same as dealing withthem—he’d gotten himself into a better place and all he’d wanted was his stutter to be gone. But they’d told him it was his fault, that the perceived stress, the trauma, the nightmares, the PTSD—it was all weighing on him, and his brain couldn’t filter out the stutter with all that other garbage weighing it down.
What glee he’d felt when it was gone. When he’d broken through whatever kept his voice from staying level, whatever kept him from being normal, he’d be consumed by the absolute elation, because now he could speak and not feel as though a phantom hand was weighting to grab his hair and beat him to a bloody pulp.
But now that it had come back, he could do nothing but keep his mouth shut and retreat into himself, sit for long hours in his room, lock down his lab, repeat and repeat and repeat his phrase, holding back rage with each new failure.
And he’d punch a wall in his room, breaking through the plaster, or he’d shatter a piece of equipment in his lab, burning up with rage—but that green wouldn’t cover his eyes, wouldn’t haze his rage. He’d feel every moment of it, because even the Hulk didn’t want to come near these feelings, this fear, this anger—it was solely reserved for Bruce.
And one day he’d sit with his hands in his lap, forcing the words past his lips, slowly, carefully, still stammering and breaking apart syllables, still curving his lips down in a scowling snarl, when he’d hear the door to his lab open, and in would come Tony, grinning his usual grin, strutting his usual strut, and he’d look to Bruce, sitting on the small couch in the corner of his lab, and he’d raise a brow at him. ‘You good over there, Broken Record? You’ve been hiding away a lot lately.’
And Bruce would shrivel up, grip his knees tight in white knuckled hands and pull them to his chest. ‘G-g-go aw-w-w-way,’ he’d stammer, not looking towards his teammate, his friend, and Tony would make a surprised noise. ‘Ah, Bruce, I’m just playin’, come o—’ And Bruce would say it louder, angrier, hands turned to fists. ‘G-g-get-t out!’ And he’d bite out the last word with so much rage, so much pain, that when he’d look up at Tony with burning eyes the genius would back away, nodding, holding out his hands. ‘Alright, I’ll…I’ll let you cool off for a minute,’ and he’d leave in a hurry, feeling guilty, but nothing compared to what Bruce was feeling.
Because Bruce would feel hurt, infinitely hurt and broken and bruised, he’d feel like he was sitting outside after a day of torment at school, waiting for his aunt to come get him, a new black eye added to his list of injuries, because he was a geek, a loser, that stammering know-it-all who thought he was better than everyone, and the people who passed him would sneer, or avoid looking at him, and he’d feel so alone, so small, so empty. And that feeling would build and build, water filling him, cold and heavy, from the pit of his stomach, up his throat, choking him until it poured from his mouth in sudden, broken sobs.
And he’d still be in his lab, but all at once he wouldn’t be, he’d be in his old house, with his father looming over him, and at his school, with a bully laughing at him where he fell, and he’d curl so small in on himself that he’d almost pop, before those sobs turned to snarls, those snarls turned to action, and suddenly he would be up and ripping apart his lab, tearing down monitors and breaking glass beakers and shattering expensive equipment, but he didn’t care, didn’t care, because he was hurting, and alone, and fighting to scream because even guttural sobs came out broken and disconnected.
And he’d slam his fist into the stone wall and crumple to the floor in a heap, breathing heavy, hard, shuttering gasps, and he’d cradle bloody knuckles to his chest as he fought to calm himself down.
And he’d sit there for ages, forehead pressed against the wall, tears streaming down his flushed face, hands shaking and bleeding; and he’d try and stutter out his phrase, try to smooth himself into alignment, and fail.
'He thr-thr-thrusts h-h-i-i-s-s-s f-f-f-f-' He'd gasp for breath, grit his teeth. 'F-f-fist a-a-again-n-nst the po-po-pos-s-st—' and he'd break off, sobbing, thump his head against the wall.
'And still insist he sees the ghost,' he'd hear from behind him, soft and careful, and a moment later someone would sit down beside his hunched, kneeling figure, looking at him with thoughtful eyes and a frown on his face.
'C-c-c-clint?' He wouldn't turn to look—he'd know, of course he'd know, and he'd hunch his shoulders further around himself, trying to calm his broken sobs.
'Yeah, it's me. I love that book, you know. IT? Futzin' scary, man.' And Bruce would peek over at him, eyes blurry with tears, and Clint would give him a watery smile. 'Real cool guy, that stutterin' dude, totally kicked that monsters ass.' When Bruce didn't reply, he'd go on. 'You know, it ain't so bad, right? I mean, I'm sure it futzin' sucks, stuttering and shit, but I don't think it's too bad. Hardly notice it sometimes.' He'd smile, reach out to where Bruce still cradled his bloody knuckles. 'Hulk don't come out cause he's scared, huh? Cause that fear gas is what did this, right?'
Bruce would swallow, nod, turn a bit more towards Clint as the archer gently rubbed away the worst of the crimson staining his hands. ‘You know, I get it. I used to be mute—after I got this thing—’ And he’d tap that little piece of plastic, like he had last time, looking rueful. ‘I didn’t talk for so long they thought I forgot how. Sometimes, when shit gets real bad, I stop talkin’ completely—just go real quiet and don’t say a damn word. I don’t like it, cause I feel like I can’t talk, you know? Like maybe I really will forget how. Scary stuff, not being able to talk.’
But then he’d lift his hand and spread his fingers, press his pointer to his chin, and tap thrice. 'Talk'.
And Bruce’s eyes would widen slightly, tears forgotten, pained hands forgotten, and he’d break into a small, surprised smile. Of course Clint knew ASL—he was hearing-impaired! But Bruce hadn’t used sign language in ages, and Clint would smile when he’d try to reply, fix his hands, a bit, and chuckle.
'Good job. I'll help you more.' And Bruce would shake his head. ‘Not so good.’ ‘No, very good!’ And his smile would be watery, his eyes rimmed red, and they’d sit together in the mess of Bruce’s destruction, signing together, Clint gentle and sweet as he helped Bruce in places he’d forgotten, and Bruce would feel so much better, so much happier, because he could speak, if not out loud then in general. And when the hour drew so late even Bruce was yawning, Clint would grip both of Bruce’s hands and kiss his bruised and bloody knuckles, looking up at his scientist with intense eyes before he’d reach out to grip Bruce’s chin, pulling him in for a real kiss.
'Your stutter doesn't define you, Bruce,' would be what he'd murmur, before he'd lead a blushing Bruce out of the destroyed lab and to his own floor, giving him one last goodnight kisses before signing a quick goodnight and letting him get his sleep.
Bruce didn’t sleep at all that night—the memory of gentle lips on his haunted him well into the dawn.